Climbing Wall Death Due to Knot Failure

Report by The BMC
Thursday 12th April 2012

The death of a climber at the Warehouse in Gloucester is a tragic reminder of the importance of checking your harness knot.

A coroner's inquest has ruled that Gloucestershire climber David Rothman died because he did not tie into his harness properly. Rothman, 73, a retired engineer and a regular at Gloucester climbing wall the Warehouse, suffered multiple fractures after falling about 30ft, and died in hospital two days later.


Read the full report by Ed Douglas on The BMC's website 

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YOU Better State This than Coroner --check <WHATEVER> knot! - 22/04/2012
The wording "did not tie into his harness properly" already is loaded with connotations that exceed the evidence; rather, all that can be concluded from the evidence is that he was NOT secured to the harness. Quite possibly --and some of us think it is probable--, as with one accident with world-class climber Lynn Hill, the deceased failed to tie ANY knot (and not that he tied a particular one that is cast into disfavor)! The coroner is reported to have made some unsupported, and in this way quite unhelpful, arguably harmful, comments --to wit: [from : ] Recording an accidental death verdict, the deputy Gloucestershire coroner David Dooley said it appeared to be a tragic case of human error. "Had a stopper knot been used, the rope probably would not have failed," he said. "There is a direct causal link between his decision to use a particular knot without a stop knot and his fall." The last quotation is egregiously ill-advised: there is no evidence to support this. Rather, of a seasoned (50yrs climbing!) climber, it would be natural to use a secure tie-in if one were attempted and completed; thus, it is reasonable to infer that he was distracted at the time, and in any case was not checked ... , and simply forgot to >>tie<< anything. *knudeNoggin*

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